Braces from fullback Jack Ahearn and centre Matthew Allwood allowed Canberra to claim outright top spot on the Toyota Cup ladder with a 36-24 victory over South Sydney at ANZ Stadium last night.
After piling on four straight tries in the first half to take a 24-6 lead at the break, the Raiders survived a Rabbitohs fightback to secure their seventh straight win.
Having put cricket scores on their opponents in recent weeks, the Raiders showed grit in defence early in the second half to hold off the seventh-placed Rabbitohs.
Manly-bound second-rower Michael Chee Kam ran for 126 metres in a dominant display, but it was Ahearn's touches of class which stood out.
Ahearn complimented his two four-pointers with a first-half try assist to Matthew Allwood.
Canberra was without star centre Edrick Lee (NRL debut) and hulking front-rower Shannon Boyd (late withdrawal). But what the visitors lacked in firepower, they made up for with a faultless defensive attitude.
Front-rower Sheen Lomax, the son of Canberra 1994 premiership star John, scored a try after replacing Boyd in the starting line-up.
AT A GLANCE
Toyota Cup Round 12: CANBERRA RAIDERS 36 (Jack Ahearn 2, Matthew Allwood 2, Sheen Lomax, Mitch Cronin tries; Mitch Cornish 6 goals) bt SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS 24 (Jordan Tuiavii, Aaron Grey, Jesse Roberts, Tyrone Phillips tries; Apisai Koroisau 3, Phillips goals) at ANZ Stadium last night.